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Morocco must be African soccer kings before dreaming of World Cup, Regragui tells players



Following the unprecedented rise of the Moroccan national team in world football, head coach Walid Regragui has told his players they must “become African soccer kings” before they can dream of being world kings.

The Atlas Lions which made history as the first African team to reach the semi finals of a FIFA World Cup in Qatar last year, and defeated Brazil 2-1 in a friendly match played on Saturday, have only won the African Nations Cup on only one occasion and Regragui believes the team has to make its mark on the continent by winning the AFCON trophy next year in Ivory Coast.

Regragui who spoke to journalists after the Atlas Lions sealed its spot for next year’s tournament, said the players must win the trophy they last won in 1976 before they can think of conquering the world.

“I told my players that we cannot be kings of the world before being kings of our continent,” Regragui said.

“You know it means a lot for us to beat Brazil, the top team in the Fifa ranking, and the country of football.”

“This is the month of Ramadan, we have to go and pray Tarawih to confirm if it’s true or not.

“Now we are going to celebrate but it’s a long way to go. We must not get on fire.”

“When I say we must win the African Cup, they say that I am exaggerating.”

“I must be careful, so I say we are not going to play for a win but we only play for happiness,” the coach said.


Former Kenyan Olympic champion Wilfred Bungei gives reasons for joining politics



Former Kenyan 800m Olympic champion turned politician, Wilfred Bungei, has explained the reason behind his decision to transit into the murky world of politics.

In an interview on the Safari za Mabingwa show hosted by Oga Obinna, Bungei recounted an embarrasing encounter that left him with no choice but to contest politics.

The former Olympic champion who ran in the Emgwen Parliamentary in 2017 but failed to win the seat, recounted the embarrassing incident that made him venture into politics.

Bungei, however, said he was not affected by the loss since he was not in the running for the money but rather, to help his community.

He went on to narrate how he booked an appointment with a top Managing Director in the country but never had a chance to sit down with him because shortly after he arrived at the destination, two MP’s walked into the office before him, but after waiting three hours, the meeting had to be canceled.

Bungei said he was frustrated and concluded that the only way to help his people was by joining politics because there, doors would be easier to access and open.

“I was going to see a certain MD, and I won’t mention his name, a very senior person and he asked me to see him at 6:30 in the morning as he had requested. You know these guys, you need to see them earlier before the office hours.

“After 20 minutes, I was told to be patient and then some MPs walked in and they just stayed in that office until 9:00.

“This was around 2014. After that, the guy walked out and said, ‘Wilfred I’m really sorry, hawa wanaume wameniweka (These guys have engaged me for long).’

“I realised that MPs are the only people who will have all doors opened for them and I said that the only way to help my people was only to be an MP. It wasn’t for money or fame because I spent almost Ksh 100 million,’’ he said.

The 43-year-old Bungei added that he never wanted fame when he decided to venture into the dirty game because deep down, he knew he still wanted to do something for his people back in the village and he thought politics was the way to go.

He added that during his time as a runner, he had so many people who would come to seek help from him and he believed by being the area MP, he would be able to help everyone.

“When I ran for politics, most people thought that I wanted money or fame but I believe that I had made a name that was bigger than going for a seat as an MP.

“I ran for office because I felt that I still had something that I could be able to do for my society. The only way that I knew I could be there for them is by representing them.

“When I was in athletics and people knew that I had money, they would come and ask for help from me and I realised that the only platform I could be able to help people would be through politics.

“We regard politicians so high in this country compared to professionals and this is where I have a problem and many times I would go to an office to seek something and I would be told, ‘Wilfred we know you and we shall see what to do.’,” he said.

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Osimhen in big trouble following outburst against Eagles coach Finidi George



Super Eagles and Napoli striker, Victor Osimhen, has found himself in big trouble with Nigerian football fans following his outburst in which he attacked the national team coach, Finidi George.

Osimhen had, in an Instagram live video on Saturday, attacked George shortly before the coach tendered his resignation and stepped down as Super Eagles head coach.

The controversy erupted was ignited following comments made by George regarding Osimhen’s recent performances and attitude on and off the pitch.

George, an ex-Eagles winger who had illustrious career with the national team where he won the 1994 Nations Cup and played at two world cups, had criticized Osimhen’s work ethic and commitment, suggesting that the young striker needed to improve his professionalism.

The former Ajax and Real Betis player who was appointed in May, had come in for severe attacks after he led the Eagles to two uninspiring 2026 FIFA World Cup qualifying matches, drawing 1-1 with South Africa in Uyo and losing 2-1 to Benin Republic.

In his frustration, George, in a statement, blamed some players including Osimhen for the team’s poor performances.

Angered by the criticism, Osimhen, went on a tirade, calling out the gaffer and ended up saying he has lost any respect he had for George.

“I have lost every respect I have for him,” the angry forward said in the Instagram live video.

“It’s disheartening to hear such comments from someone I once looked up to,” he continued.

“I have always given my best for the Super Eagles and my club. To be criticized in this manner by Finidi George, someone who should understand the pressures and challenges we face, is very hurtful. I have lost every respect I had for him.

“I am focused on my development and helping my teams achieve success. What we need is encouragement and constructive feedback, not public denigration from those who have walked this path before us,” he stated in anger.

However, the outburst did not sit well with fans of the Super Eagles with many Nigerians calling for his ban from the team.

A former Super Eagles goalkeeper, Idah Peterside, who took exception to Osimhen’s attitude, described the tantrum as irresponsible and called for his expulsion from the national team.

According to Peterside, the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF), should take action to curb similar actions in the future.

“I think action should be taken, or he (Osimhen)
should be banned from playing for the national team,” Peterside wrote on social media.

“If we allow this kind of thing to continue, it would not augur well for Nigeria. The men who have served and given everything to our great country. So sanity must be brought to our football.”

Peterside also called on Osimhen to apologize to George for his actions.

“Osimhen needs to come outside and apologize for the things he said to Finidi, Peterside said on social media.

“Finidi George is a legend, You don’t just widen your mouth and say things that are unpalatable. If you have issues with the man, pick up your phone and call him. That’s what responsible people do.

“Osimhen has just shown a bit of irresponsibility, and that’s unexpected. I think the NFF should call Osimhen and ask him to apologize. He has to apologize for saying things.”

“Our national team is sacred; days when we wore the jersey, we respected it, and people that went before us. He’s not the first, and neither would he be the last. He should come out openly and apologize openly to former footballers, NFF, Finidi, and Nigerians,” former goalkeeper stated.

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